Everyday I am bombarded with decisions and doubts. What’s worst is that even though I don’t know what I should do, I should be thinking what God wants me to do. In any and all of my decisions I should be looking for God’s Will, but I have a problem. I don’t think that I have ever seen a shaft of celestial light illuminating the correct decision. How do I know the will of God for my life? After all, it is a great concern in Scriptures this ?knowing the will of God?.
When Jesus makes such strong statements as those who do the will of God being the ones who are actually his family (Mk 3:35 ) what are we left to think about those who do not do the will of God? We have an account of a certain prophet who knowing the will of God by direct revelation, ran the opposite direction because he didn’t want to deliver the message. The account of his tale closes with this prophet scowling in the hot sun, the smell of fish permeating his flesh and a cruel enemy unscathed and saved (Jonah 1-4).
We also have Paul telling the Roman believers that they are to offer up their bodies as living sacrifices which is their reasonable service of worship and in thus doing they must separate themselves from the world by a transformation. Concerning this transformation he points out that these believers will be testing and approving the good, acceptable and perfect will of God (Rom 12:1-2 and emphasis mine).
What will of God?
Paul later prays that he wishes the Colossians to be filled with the knowledge of the will of God and then makes some statements which hint at this will being closely tied to our walk (Col 1:9-10), but how? I like you I’m sure, need direction on all those things which the Bible seems to be strangely silent about.
Or is the Bible silent on these things? There I am deciding if I am to marry Emma or Jane and I scour the Scriptures landing on a list of good things and thinking I should put Emma or Jane up against that list?see how they line up to that Proverbs 31 woman: That established woman who has been married to her husband for several years already? Is this how the Word of God speaks?
No, the Word of God is much clearer on the Will of God than what we may presuppose. The scriptures are not some sort of Tuesday Morning horoscope with random generated prophecies made general enough to find comfort for thousands of people born on the same day. The scriptures are the very vehicle of God’s communication and in them are found profound, profitable and pointed words.
The Lord, we should note, does amazing things with his revelation and stewardship. He entrusts us with a bit and waits to see what we’ll do with that bit. Upon proving faithful, he tends to carry out the rest of his doling out of responsibility. Look at those unbelievers in Romans 1 who reject that small bit of God’s revelation of Himself in creation. He doesn’t entrust them with the gospel?they’ve already chosen their course. And yet, there you have Cornelius and God sends an angel to him saying ?Call Peter. He’s got something for you? (I am of course paraphrasing: Acts 10:1-6).
What does God say concerning His will? He says that we are to do his will from the depths of our heart (Eph 6:6) and that speaks of the seriousness of adhering to His will. He says that although we may suffer we should understand that by following after Him it He gets a chance to shut up the ignorance of foolish men (1 Pet 2: 13-16). He takes great care with His will so we should take great care in knowing it.
Paul says, in First Thessalonians 4:3-6, that this is the will of God (very explicit, isn’t it?) and it concerns our sanctification. That we should abstain from sexual immorality, and that each one of us knows how to possess their own vessel in sanctification and honor and not in lustful passion (like those Gentiles in Romans 1 who don’t know God) and that we don’t defraud each other in this matter!
Take that word ?vessel? in one of two ways?either your body or your spouse. Either way it makes sense in our approach to every day living. Either way it makes sense in our approach to our walking worthily of the calling by which God has called us. It is abstinence not merely in the realm of sexual intimacy but delving into all those things that work contrary to our sanctification. Pornography, movies, jokes, and crudeness they all fall under that header of sexual immorality! Not just in how it affects us but in the way it affects our body (or our wife or girlfriend) but also the idea of defrauding your brother. Robbing him in this area (or if you wish any area such as in finances). These are direct words?how many of us fall short of these things?
Paul boldly moves forward into another revelation of God’s will in the Fifth chapter of the same book verses 16-18. Says he, ?Rejoice always, pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.? He’s not saying to go around with a daft smile on our faces ignoring seasons of pain and of tears?but he’s saying to have that calm, solidified well off cheer that is found only in God. Paul finds it fit to group this directly with two aspects of prayer?which tells us something about this sense of ?rejoice?. It is not this exuberant hand-clapping joy but that joy that is directly tied by what God has done. It satisfies God and the praying and thanking Him are two serious aspects which broaden that relationship with Him.
Do I pray without ceasing? Do I give thanks to the Lord? Do I rejoice always? Do I live with sanctification in mind? If I don’t, I should reconsider my expectation that God is going to entrust me with further revelation of His will. If I decide to ignore this shaft of celestial light why would God bother to illuminate anything else?
I also took Curt’s advice and made my post about 1,000 words. In the midst of a hectic week and an in-general frightening experience he still manages to poke fun at his buddies. Thanks for the hint, Curt